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Chon Buri The Nearest Seaside Retreat

http://www.tourismthailand.org/ajaxengine/upload/mod_destinationguide/html_library/Chon%20buri/General/General.gifChonburi, Bangkoks nearest seaside town, is located on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, only 80 kilometers from Bangkok. The area boasts abundant natural resources, which are highlighted by delightful beaches, local colors, traditions, delicacies and fresh seafood. This is a popular resort among Bangkokians who seek the nearest escape from hectic weekly schedules as Chon Buri has something for everyone. In addition, Chon Buri is the center of the Eastern Seaboard Development Project, with its industrial parks and fishing villages.

Pattaya A Travelers Paradise

http://www.tourismthailand.org/ajaxengine/upload/mod_destinationguide/html_library/Chon%20buri/General/pattaya_bay1.jpgPattaya is nestled along a picturesque bay on the East Coast of the Gulf of Thailand, roughly 170 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. From a fishing village in the 1960s, Pattaya has emerged as the favorite Southeast Asian vacation center. A fascinating escape where tourists, holiday makers and vacationers from around the world unfold an incomparable array of possibilities to unwind during an exotic holiday beach vacation.
Unlike other beach resorts, where natural surroundings are used as magnets to attract tourists, Pattaya makes an all-out attempt to provide the best of everything. Here, everything means everything a tourist can imagine while on holiday: recreation, entertainment, sports, sightseeing and fun. To put it simply, Pattaya is a paradise for everyone, as it has a variety of attractions suitable for all types of visitors. This is the place where you can fill your day, from dusk to dawn, with endless activities, or you may choose to do nothing at all and relax.
The Past
Pattayas name was originated from the march of Phraya Tak (later known as King Taksin thehttp://www.tourismthailand.org/ajaxengine/upload/mod_destinationguide/html_library/Chon%20buri/General/elephantvill.jpg Great) and his followers from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi just before the fall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom to the Burmese invaders in 1767.
When Phraya Taks army arrived in the vicinity of what is Pattaya today, he encountered the troops of Nai Klom who tried to intercept him. When the two leaders met face to face, Nai Klom was awed by Phraya Taks dignified manner and his armys strict discipline, thereby surrendering without a fight. The place where the two armies confronted each other was later called Thap Phraya, which means the Army of the Phraya. This was later changed to Phatthaya, which happens to mean the wind blowing from the southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season. Today the spelling of the name has been simplified to Pattaya.
For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village almost cut off from the outside world. But a big change occurred on 29 April 1961 when the first group of about 100 American servicemen who would join the Vietnam War arrived in Pattaya for relaxation. Soon, sleepy Pattaya became Thailands premier and most successful beach resort, which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of pleasure-seeking visitors. A full range of accommodations from super deluxe hotels to bungalows and mini-pocket guesthouses replaced fishermens huts along the beach. Fishing vessels were adapted to become tourist boats and swimmers and sunbathers from various parts of the world frequented the quiet powdery golden beaches. Places of nighttime entertainment have also sprung up and are popular among international tourists.
The Present
http://www.tourismthailand.org/ajaxengine/upload/mod_destinationguide/html_library/Chon%20buri/General/pattaya.jpgPattaya currently integrates the delights of a 1st class beach resort, city-like dining, shopping and night entertainment facilities with more than 300 assorted hotels, thousands of shops, restaurants and bars. In addition, there are an array of sports and recreational activities including beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, go-kart, gyms for working out, weight lifting and Thai-boxing gear. Pattaya offers a broad range of things to do. During the day, one may enjoy riding elephants or driving humble automatic mini-bikes, monstrous motorcycles, or even monster multicolored convertible Jeeps. Others go for shooting firearms, scuba diving and surfing, deep-sea fishing, speed boats, scooters, water-skiing, parasailing, or aerial sports such as gliding ultra-lights and flying motor-propelled gliders. On the other hand, at night, there are restaurants, bars, theaters, cabaret shows, night clubs, bowling halls, billiard & snooker clubs, discos, sauna & massage parlors, not to cite its absolutely incredible shopping which is available non-stop both day-and-night.
Pattaya Facts
This exotic beach resort welcomes approximately 5 million visitors a year. The friendly and hospitable Thai nature boosts its promotion, frequently bringing back the repeat visitors and constantly increasing the number of newcomers.
Pattaya city is located on the eastern coast of the country at latitude 13 N and longitude 101 E in the area of Chon Buri province. It is 147 kilometers from Bangkok and lies parallel to Sukhumvit Road on its east and the coastline on its west. Pattaya occupies an area of 208.1 sq. km. that is divided into 53.44 sq. kilometers of land and 154.66 sq. kilometers of islands and sea. Its coastline is 15 kilometers long.
Pattaya has a plain on the coast with some high mountains to the south. The area on the east slopes down towards the sea on the west.
Administration
Pattaya City has been administered under a special autonomous system since 1978. It has a status comparable to that of a municipality and is administered separately by the mayor of Pattaya City, who is responsible for making policies, organizing public services, and supervising all employees of Pattaya City Administration.

Travelling to Chon Buri

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By Car
Chon Buri is a one-hour drive from Bangkok along Highway No. 34 (Bang Na-Trat). Alternatively, taking the Motor Way (new Bangkok-Chon Buri Route) will reduce travel time.
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By Bus
The 1.5-hour journey from Bangkok can be made on regular buses originating from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai). Air-conditioned buses leave Ekkamai every 40 minutes from 5.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tel: 0 2391 9829. Non air-conditioned buses leave Ekkamai every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tel: 0 2391 2504.
There are also air-conditioned buses leaving the Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road from 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Call: 0 2936 2852-66 for more information. In addition, Si Racha Tour, Tel: 0 2936 4029 operates air-conditioned bus services to Chon Buri and Bang Saen.

Travelling to Pattaya
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By car
Pattaya can be reached in a 2.5-hour drive along Bangna-Trat Highway via Bang Pakong, Chon Buri and Si Racha. However, visitors can avoid Chon Buri by opting for Highway 36, the new Chon Buri - Pattaya - Rayong route or taking the motorway from Rama 9 Road.
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By bus
Air-conditioned and regular buses depart from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) and Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) on Kamphaengphet Road daily. Buses (air-con) depart the Eastern Bus Terminal every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from Mochit II (Northern Bus Terminal) from 5.00 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Departure times and fares may be obtained from the Eastern Bus Terminal, tel. 0 2391 2504, 0 2391 8097 or the Northern Bus Terminal, tel. 0 2936 2852-66.
There are also minibuses that travel directly from Bangkok Airport to Pattaya at 9.00 a.m., 12.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. daily. For more information, contact the Bangkok International Airport, tel. 0 2535 1111.
In addition, most hotels in Bangkok provide bus services to Pattaya. Contact the tour desk at your hotel for details.
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By train
The State Railway of Thailand offers a daily train service departing Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station at 06.55 a.m., tel. 0 2621 8701. It takes about 5 hours to reach a station located near the Siam Country Club.
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By Air
Bangkok Airways provides daily flights connecting Ko Samui and U-Taphao Airport. (Approximately 30 kilometers south of Pattaya). 

Travelling in Pattaya
Pattaya City is divided into four major zones: North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya and Chomthian. It should be noted that there is a small mountain known as the Hill, located between South Pattaya and Chomthian. For a visual illustration take a look at the Map of Pattaya and Chomthian with the Hill.
Motorbikes are the most popular mode of transport in Pattaya. However, transportation in the city is facilitated through the use of special cars (song taew), customized pickup trucks with passenger seats in a covered overhead back cabin. These pickups, known as Bahts-Bus, can easily carry 8-10 passengers in the back, plus 1 or 2 passengers in front. They circle around the city and are allowed to stop anywhere. In addition to motorbike-taxis, the Bahts-Buses are the only form of public transport permitted in Pattaya. If not occupied, they also can be hired as private taxis. In fact, they are private vehicles in most cases belonging to the drivers. There are so many of them that they end up looking for passengers.
This compact city consists of 3 major roads that parallel each other. Right along the beach is Beach Rd., which is a one-way road from the north to south that is a few kilometers long. Second Rd. is a hundred or so meters away and carries city transport mainly from the south to north, although it is partly a two-way road. The last road is Sukhumvit Rd, a continuation of the highway leading to Bangkok. Many small streets called Soi(s) cross the roads. And it's advisable to walk some of the small streets, which are enumerated from north to south, although some have names. Second Rd. continues on to South Pattaya and turns to Chomthian reaching Chomthian beach within 5 minutes, and continues alongside Chomthian beach, which is approximately 20 kilometers long with some secluded escapes.
Chomthian Beach Rd., which is a two-way road, also parallels Sukhumvit Rd and is the only road in the Chomthian area, except for some connecting streets. On the other side of Sukhumvit road are several country clubs, golf courses and typical Thai rural villages, providing charming escapes on the banks of sweet-water lakes and small streams in the leisurely and relaxing countryside.
Many kinds of motorbikes, convertible monster Jeeps, sport and passenger cars are offered for rent. A driver's license is not required for driving around Pattaya and vicinity, so many tourists are tempted get behind the wheel. It should be noted that in Thailand drivers drive on the left lane, as in England and Japan.

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Pattaya (Thai: ѷ, ѷ(help?info), RTGS: Phatthaya) is a city in Thailand, located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand (12?55?39?N 100?52?31?E? / ?12.9275, 100.87528Coordinates: 12?55?39?N 100?52?31?E? / ?12.9275, 100.87528), about 165 km southeast of Bangkok located within but not part of Amphoe Bang Lamung in the province of Chon Buri.

Meaning the 'south-west monsoon wind" and correctly pronounced "Putt-tuh-YAH" not "Patt-EYE-uh", it ranks as one of the most successful beach resorts in the world, with some 5.4 million visitors arriving in 2005. Increasing numbers of tourists come from the former Soviet Union and East Asia.

The city of Pattaya is a self governing special municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Kluea and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. It is located in the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chon Buri. However, it remains mostly a tourist city, with very light industry.

Pattaya is second only to Bangkok in high rise buildings, as many condos for foreign residents are built, and has a modest skyline. The city's economy benefits from its relative proximity to Bangkok.

Pattaya is also the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area, the conurbation in Chonburi Province.

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[edit] History

Beach
Pattaya along the beach

Pattaya was simply a small fishing village until it was discovered as a beach resort by Bangkok residents in the 1960s. Soon thereafter, servicemen from all over Southeast Asia, including the United States Air Force base at U-Tapao in neighbouring Rayong province began using the area for "rest and recreation" (R&R), causing a huge boom in prostitution. When the Americans left following the end of the Vietnam War, the city fell into a crisis. However, modern mass tourism, particularly single men looking for companionship, brought a new lease of life to Pattaya.

The rapid growth of tourism brought about many negative consequences, such as pollution and petty crime. In 1976, the Pattaya City Act was passed by the Thai legislature, making Pattaya a self-administrating municipality governed by a Council-manager government. However, many argue that this administration system has drawbacks (for example, the mayor may disagree with the city manager). Critics have recommended abolishing the system.

In recent years the city has pushed hard to clean up its image, and family-focused entertainment is increasingly available; however, the core sex-industry has ensured that Pattaya retains its position as one of the world's most renowned party destinations. In 2005, more than 35,000 hotel rooms were available in Pattaya and it has seen a large increase in family tourism in recent years, thanks to efforts to present a more wholesome image. Despite these efforts, Pattaya's sex industry is the city's raison d'?tre. Pattaya is an especially popular vacation destination for families from Russia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Pattaya also has a large international expatriate population, especially British and Russian residents.

[edit] Demographics

The city had 104,318 registered inhabitants in 2007. But that figure excludes the large number of Thais who work in Pattaya (many come and go for tourism-related work) but remain registered in their hometowns, and many long-term expatriate visitors. Including non-registered residents, the population numbers around 300,000 at any given time. Other estimates put the figure as high as 500,000.[1]

[edit] Geography

Pattaya, located off the Gulf of Thailand, is approximately 145 km south of the city of Bangkok.

"Greater Pattaya" occupies most of the coastline of Banglamung (one of the eleven districts that comprise Chonburi Province). It is divided into a larger northern section which spans the areas to the east of Naklua Beach (the most northern beach) and Pattaya Beach (the main beach) plus the Buddha Hill headland (immediately south of Pattaya Beach), and a smaller southern section covering the area to the east of Jomtien Beach (which lies directly south of Buddha Hill) including Dongtan Beach. Jomtien's beaches are much broader and generally in better shape, and the atmosphere locally is more sedate and family-oriented, than at Pattaya Beach.

[edit] Administration

Pattaya city has been administered under a special autonomous system since 1978. It has a status comparable to a municipality and is separately administered by the mayor of Pattaya city who is responsible for making policies, organizing public services and supervising all employees of Pattaya city administration.

[edit] Climate

Pattaya enjoys a tropical wet and dry climate, which is divided into the following seasons: warm and dry (November to February), hot and humid (March to May), and hot and rainy (June to October). The most comfortable time of year coincides with the peak tourist season, which is over the Christmas and New Year period.


[hide]Weather averages for Pattaya
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high ?C 30.7 31.0 31.8 32.9 32.4 31.6 31.3 31.1 31.0 30.6 30.4 29.9
Average low ?C 23.0 24.3 25.4 26.4 26.5 26.5 26.0 26.0 25.1 24.2 23.4 22.2
Precipitation mm 13.7 12.0 52.5 61.6 154.6 149.9 87.0 98.6 217.1 242.6 82.8 6.4
Average high ?F 87 88 89 91 90 89 88 88 88 87 87 86
Average low ?F 73 76 78 80 80 80 79 79 77 76 74 72
Precipitation inches 0.54 0.47 2.07 2.43 6.09 5.9 3.43 3.88 8.55 9.55 3.26 0.25
Source: World Weather Information Service[2] Nov 2007

[edit] Beaches

[edit] Pattaya Beach

Pattaya Beach at sunset.
Pattaya Park Tower.
Birds Eye View, from Pattaya Park Tower, Pattaya city.

Pattaya Beach is situated alongside the city centre, close to shopping, hotels and bars. The over-abundance of jet-skis and speedboats has contributed to the pollution of the water along the beach, as has the practice of dumping sewage in the ocean. The section of beach from Central Road (Pattaya Klang) south to the harbor is adjacent to the core of Pattaya's abundant nightlife area, and hence is less family-oriented than the North Pattaya, Na Klua and Jomtien beaches.

Most sections of the beach are covered by rented deckchairs run by local beverage vendors during daylight hours.

During nighttime a few deckchairs remain operated and drinks can be ordered at the south end (near Walking Street) of the beach.

[edit] Jomtien Beach

Jomtien Beach (Thai: Ҵ¹) is divided from the main part of Pattaya by Pratumnak Hill, just south of the city. In contrast to Pattaya Beach, Jomtien is a popular spot for family vacationers and water sports enthusiasts. Jomtien is essentially a residential area with beachside hotels, bungalow complexes, condominiums and restaurants. A wide array of watersport activities can be found, including jet skis, parasailing and small sail boat (Hobie Cat) rental. Dongtan Beach, just past the Avalon Beach Resort in Jomtien, is known as the gay beach, and is busy every day of the year. It is very popular location for vendors of all types to solicit their services or goods.

Jomtien's most visible landmark is the 56-story Pattaya Park tower, part of the Pattaya Park entertainment complex which also features a water park, roller coaster, monorail and children's activities. This may soon be overshadowed by the proposed 91-floor Ocean One Tower ("O1") Tower[3]. With an overall height of 367 meters, it would be the tallest building in Thailand and one of the tallest residential buildings in the world[4]. The Jomtien district is already home to one of the largest resorts in Asia, the 4000+ room Ambassador City Jomtien.

Jomtien beach can be reached by songthaew taxi. There is a direct route or a switch Songthaew at the 2nd road intersection near Walking Street. Songthaew fares from within Pattaya to Jomtien will be 20 baht for foreigner person while Thai people only need to pay 10 baht for the same ride. A motorbike taxi will take people there for 60 baht.

[edit] Islands

Ko Lan beach. White sands and clear water

[edit] Ko Lan

Ko Lan (Thai: ҹ), or Coral Island, is a small island situated 7.5 km west of Pattaya. Ko Lan is accessible by speedboat and ferry. The ferry departs hourly, and is a 45-minute ride costing just 20 baht each way. Speedboats are more expensive, but can reach the island in less than 15 minutes. Ko Lan has several beaches, which are known for their cleanliness, relaxing atmosphere, soft white sand, and crystal-clear water. This place is also known to for its exotic fish.

[edit] Island groups

Off Pattaya there are two small island groups, the "Near Islands" (Ko Sak, Ko Krok) located close to the northern shores of Pattaya, very near Ko Lan, and the "Far Islands" (Ko Rin, Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hua Chang, and Ko Badan), located offshore directly west of Pattaya. These islands, especially the "Far Islands", are the primary scuba diving destinations in and around Pattaya.

[edit] Transportation

Pattaya is about 1? hours, or 120 km by road from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Pattaya is also served through U-Tapao International Airport which is 45 minutes drive from the city. By road, it is served by Sukhumvit Road and Motorway 7 from Bangkok. Intercity transport is usually through one of two bus stations, one for Bangkok and one for other destinations.

Until recently the only transport within town were private or shared songthaews and taxi via motorbike. However, a public bus service has begun in 2006, and a metered taxi service began in late 2007.

Roads

  1. By the Bangkok-Chon Buri-Pattaya Motorway (Highway No.7) The motorway is linked with Bangkoks Outer Ring Road., (Highway No. 9) and there is also another entrance at Si Nakharin and Rama IX Junction.
  2. By Bang Na-Trat Highway (Highway No. 34) From Bang Na, Bang Phli, across the Bang Pakong River to Chon Buri there is a Chon Buris bypass that meets Sukhumvit Road., (Highway No. 3, passing Bang Saen Beach, Bang Phra to Pattaya.

Pattaya roads

  • Pattaya 1 Road: this street runs parallel to the beach
  • Pattaya 2 Road: this street runs approximately 400 meters parallel to Pattaya 1 Road.
  • Pattaya 3 Road: this is Pattayas outer-ring road which connects North, South and Central Pattaya.
  • Thap Phraya Road: this street connects Pattaya 2 to Jomtien Road.
  • Thep Prasit Road: this street connects Sukhumvit to Jomtien Road.

Rail There is one train a day to Pattaya leaving from Hualumphong Station in Bangkok.

Monorails The city plan to contruction 3 lines of monorail system, by a budget of 4,000 millions baht.

Air There is no public airport in Pattaya city. The nearest airport to Pattaya city is U-Tapao.

Bus Buses to Pattaya leave very frequently from Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Morchid) and the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekhamai). There are buses from Pattaya which go to every nearby provincial town. There are also some buses available to major towns in the north-east.

Songthaew (public passenger pick-up vehicle) Popularly nick-named Baht-buses in Pattaya, songthaews are the most popular mode of public transportation in Pattaya. Normally, the price is different for locals and foreigners (double the local price). Yet, however the cost is still comparatively low and foreigners are advised to avoid confrontation with the drivers.

Motorbike-taxi These are found mainly in the town areas and are used mainly for very short distances.

[edit] Economy

[edit] Tourism

The Wat Khao Phra Bat temple overlooking Pattaya Bay features a Buddha statue more than 18 meters tall.

Once a sleepy fishing town, Pattaya first boomed as an R&R spot during the Vietnam War and got itself a bit of a bad image, but things have certainly improved since then and the city has been turning its location into a family-orientated destination. So besides only bars and pubs, there is plenty more to do and see these days. Currently, Pattaya is booming again: TAT claims 5,338,000 visitors for 2005 (up 6.5% from 2004), of which two-thirds were foreigners who came to enjoy the exciting sea-shore activities.

Other activities include golfing at the area's many golf courses, and there are 21 golf courses within 1 hour of Pattaya, go-cart racing, visiting the construction site of an elaborate private wooden temple known as Sanctuary of Truth, and different theme parks and zoos such as Mini Siam, and Elephant Village.

The national symbol of Thailand, these amazing animals have been part of Thai culture for centuries. Demonstrations of training methods and ancient ceremonial re-enactments plus entertaining performances and wild elephant round-ups daily between 2:30 and 4:00.

The private Sri Racha Tiger Zoo features several hundred tigers and thousands of alligators as well as some other animals. It has often been criticized for the animals' living conditions, and a worker was killed by tigers in 2004[5]. There was a major bird flu outbreak at the zoo later that year[6].

The Vimantaitalay tourist submarine takes customers underwater to see corals and marine life just a few kilometers offshore. There are many boat trips from an hour to all day trips available, mostly leaving from Bali Hai Pier, near Walking Street.

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is located some 15 kilometers east of Pattaya. The 500-acre (2.0km2) site has well maintained botanical gardens and an orchid nursery. Moreover the facility has lively cultural shows in a Thai village setting. In addition trained chimpanzees and elephants are seen at the garden.

Other attractions in Pattaya: The Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Elephant Village, Pattaya Park Beach Resort Water Park and Funny Land Amusement Park, Siriporn Orchid Farm, Underwater World Pattaya (world class aquarium), Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya(cultural show), Bottle Art Museum, Mini Siam, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and Walking Street.

Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya presents Thai performing arts in a panoramic concept. The entire project includes a prototype Hexa Stage Theater with 2,000 seats in tiers, Cultural Rostrum and a Restaurant with 1,000 seating capacity. Open daily except Wednesday, show time 18.00 hrs.

Underwater World (ѹ Ŵ) is an aquarium where there is a collection of marine species in the Gulf of Thailand. The tunnel is 105 metres long divided into 4 zones. The aquarium is home to a multitude of local marine life, including sharks and stingrays. Moreover, there is marine life feeding shows, both on the surface of the water and underwater in each zone.

Khao Phra Tam Nak or Khao Phra Bat (Ҿе˹ѡ Ҿкҷ) This small hill is located between South Pattaya and Chom Thian. It is a vantage point for a panoramic view of the whole city of Pattaya and its crescent bay. Locals and visitors come here to pay homage to Wat Khao Phra Bat atop the hill and the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is resgared the founding father of the modern Thai navy. and Suan Chaloemphrakiat (ǹõ) Khao Phra Tam Nak Road., This is a fitness park at the foot of Khao Pattaya.

Sanctuary of Truth (ҷѨ) This gigantic wooden structure is situated by the sea at Laem Ratchawet, North Pattaya. The sanctuary of Truth was first built in 1981. With exquisite architectural features, the building was conceived out of the vision that human civilisation has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth.

Mini Siam (ͧͧѷ) is located at km. 143 on Sukhumbit Road., Highway No. 3, North Pattaya, Mini Siam is one of famous model villages in the world. It celebrates the heritages of Thailand with miniature replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, Prasat Hin Phimai etc. Miniature replicas of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called mini world.

Cabaret Shows (Һ) There are two venues of transvestite cabarets (lady boys) in Pattaya.

  • Alcazar Cabaret (Ťҫ Һ), Pattaya 2 Road
  • Tiffany Show (Կҹ ), Pattaya 2 Road

Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan (Ѵҳѧ) covers an area of 366 rai. It was constructed in 1976 for Somdet Phra Yanasangwon, the present Supreme Patriarch and later was supported by His Majesty the King. Within the compound of the temple are the Mondop where a replica of the Buddhas footprint is enshrined, a large Chedi containing the relics of the Lord Buddha, as well as, his enlightened followers, and Wihan Phra Yanaret.

Koh Larn is a little tropical island located about 7km off the coast of Pattaya Beach. The Island is around 4km long and 2km wide and is home to approximately one thousand residents. Most of the locals reside in the main village, Naban. There are six beaches on the island that has white sand and clear blue water. The terrain is mainly mountainous which is covered in most part with jungle.

Some tourists take daytrips to nearby Rayong for beautiful beaches, as well as Koh Samet island.

[edit] Activities

Sports

Bungee Jump:

  • Jungle Bungee Jump (ѧ ѹ ) has arrived in Pattaya and is found near the fishing pond of the Jomtien Fishing Park.

Flying for entertainment: at major places such as

  • Pattaya Air Park (ѷ )
  • Chon Buri Flying Club (ź Ѻ)
  • CMT Flying Club ( Ѻ)

Horse Riding:

  • Jo Jo Horse Club ( Ѻ) is a training place for horse riding.
  • Horseshoe Point Club (ʪ · Ѻ) is a place of horse riding training and accommodation. It covers an area of 300 rai. There are horse riding training fields for both indoor and outdoor, cross-country jumping and polo, which are up to an international standard. The Thai Polo Club offers polo lessons and opportunities to play polo.

Motor Sports: Car Racing Circuit

  • Pattaya Cart Speedway (ѷҤ ʻմ) is a cart racing circuit where there are separate lanes for professionals and amateurs.
  • Thailand International Motor Sport Complex (TIMC) (ٹҹ¹ TIMC)
  • Pira International Circuit (ʹöԹ๪Ե)
  • KR Go-cart Grand Prix (ʹö ⡤ ѧի)

Fitness and sports:

  • Fairtex Sport Club and Hotel (ꡫ ʻ Ѻ ͹ ) is a sports complex comprising artificial cliff climbing, boxing, yoga, squash, tennis court, etc.

Spa Pattaya has an abundance of massage shops. The most common types of massage include Thai massage, foot massage, oil massage and reflexology massage.

Proper spas however, of a very high world-standard can be found at the citys top resorts and hotels.

Diving The most popular destination in Pattaya for diving buffs is the Hardeep Wreck which was sunk by the allies in the Second World War. The wreck lies on its starboard side at a maximum depth of 26 meters. Other popular dive destinations near Pattaya include:

  • Ko Rin
  • Ko Lan
  • Ko Man Wichai
  • Ko Hu Chang
  • Ko Khrok
  • The Wreck of HTMS Khram
  • Ko Sak

[edit] Shopping

Royal Garden Plaza
In front of Royal Garden Plaza, Pattaya

In recent years, new shopping malls, outlet stores and jewelry stores have opened up, which has helped in increasing the length of stay of visitors to the city. Among the shopping malls are:

  • Central Center Pattaya, Pattaya Second Road Indoor mall anchored by a BigC; also has a SF Cinema City branch.

Hypermarkets

Local Products

Local products in Pattaya consist of:

  • Chaeng Lon: This is a local delicacy where coconut is hand molded into small buns on a stick and charcoal-grilled.
  • Hoi Cho: This Chinese delicacy is Chon Buri's famous dish because a special kind of sea crabs is used as the main ingredient.
  • Khao Lam: This specialty is made with sticky rice, sugar and coconut cream cooked in specially-prepared bamboo rods.

Shopping Malls

  • The Village Shopping Centre, Sukhumvit Rd - Pattaya's newest shopping centre due to open in October.
  • Mike Department Store , Beach Road
  • Royal Garden Plaza, Beach Road Three-story indoor mall with a Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum and an SF Multiplex cinema. Also has a Sizzler restaurant, Au Bon Pain, KFC, McDonald's, Auntie * Anne's Pretzels, ZEN Japanese restaurant, Swensen's, Haagen Daz, Pizza Company, Delice de France, and a large food court. The Marriott Hotel is adjacent.
  • The Avenue, Second Road (near Royal Garden) is in the midst of a soft opening with the following either open or their spaces being fitted out: a 22 lane Bowling Alley, Au Bon Pain, McDonalds, Thanachart Bank, 8 Major Cineplex theatres, Boots, California Wow! a major gym/fitness spa (open for subscriptions), Shenanigans, Iberry, Pizza Pizza, 20 Nails Spa, Starbucks, Kasikorn Bank, Bank of Ayudhaya, and a 24/7 Villa Market, which carries imported goods difficult to find in other supermarkets.
  • TukCom, Pattaya Tai (South) Road, boasts a large computer/IT complex offering reasonable prices.
  • An outlet mall is next to the Tesco Lotus selling discount clothing from many European and American brands.

At least one other new large mall is under construction between sois 9 and 10..

Pattaya has many large home improvement stores including Home Mart, HomeWorks, Home Pro, Kanyong and True Value.

The closest department store to Pattaya is Robinson's, located about 30 minutes away in Sri Racha.

There are several large nightly markets in different parts of town.

There are big Thai markets at soi bua kao each Tuesday and Friday.

[edit] Nightlife

A Korean dance performed by transsexual artists in Alkazar theater in Pattaya

Pattaya is renowned for its nightlife. The city has hundreds of beer bars, go go bars, and night clubs/discotheques. The most famous include Tonys, Marine Disco, X-Zyte, Lucifer, Hammer, Mixx. New clubs and bars are opening all the time. The world famous Walking Street is the center of Pattaya's nightlife.

Many bars, discos and nightclubs, as well as several large massage parlours, are venues for sex workers. Other massage parlors exist which provide traditional non-sexual Thai massages.

Since the "social order" crackdown of 2004, there are fewer sex shows (such as the ping pong shows). Depending on the enforcement climate, go go dancers may be seen fully nude, topless or in bikinis on different days or weeks. However, with the political crisis, there is little incentive to be strict about the former laws.

Muay Thai (Thai boxing) matches aimed at tourists can be seen at several open-air beer bar complexes.

Boyztown (Pattayaland Soi 1-3), Sunee Plaza, and the Jomtien Complex are famous for their many beer bars, cabarets and go-go clubs catering to a gay clientele. Pattaya has the second largest concentration of gay oriented establishments in Thailand with about 110 venues, after Bangkok with about 200 venues. Many bars specialize in specific types of hosts (slim, muscular, effeminate, etc.), while others have a broad range of men available. There is very little in the way of gay nightclubs or bars in the Western sense; the vast majority of places are no different than the venues that target heterosexuals, both feature sexual entertainment.

Pattaya is known for its cabaret revues featuring kathoeys (male-to-female transsexuals), with Alcazar and Tiffany's being the largest and most elaborate.

Another important, but understated aspect of Pattaya are the foreign restaurants. Often run by expatriates, most offer food at prices far below those found in Bangkok, Samui or Phuket.

Major Hotel operates gourmet restaurant, cocktail lounges, discotheques, nightclubs and supper clubs which offer excellent food, drinks, music and international entertainment. Such establishments are ideally suited to family entertainment.

[edit] Property

Property is big business in Pattaya, especially property development. Many new buildings have gone up in recent years, and some people think the market might be oversupplied.

Some buildings are put up with little respect for planning permission and a building was recently in dispute due to being too close to the shore line and too close to another condo block.

There is also a market in Villas but its growth is limited due to ownership restrictions on foreigners.

A casino is also being considered for Jomtien area.[citation needed]

[edit] Health Care

Large hospitals in the area include Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Pattaya International Hospital, Banglamung Hospital, and Pattaya Memorial Hospital. Many foreign tourists have inexpensive dental and medical care in Pattaya, though Bangkok is far more popular for as a medical tourist destination.

[edit] Local Culture

There is lots of culture to see in Pattaya. For tourists there are Thai Dance shows, Thai art exhibitions, Thai boxing contests etc.

[edit] Life-style

Most of the officially registered Pattaya folk are of Thai-Chinese ancestry. However, due to the tourist industry many people from the north-east have come to work in Pattaya (north-east is the poorest region of Thailand). So, there is as much chance of hearing spoken Isan dialect (similar to Laotian) as you have Thai, especially in the shops and bars, etc.

[edit] Events & Festivals

Pattaya's Songkran Festival is different to the rest of Thailand, it runs on 18-19 April. Pattaya Carnival/Festival is held annually at Pattaya Pier and it is a colourful event which includes beauty pageants, musical performances, cultural shows, fireworks and water sports competition. Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in the month of M arch. On different stages, there are a bandwagon of several styles of music performed by both Thai and international artists.

[edit] Creative Arts

Pattaya's Western creative arts are growing daily as the number of expat residents continues to climb. Art galleries are numerous and other arts oriented programs and organizations are starting to thrive. Among these is the highly successful community theater group entitled the Pattaya Players. The Pattaya Players are a troupe of amateur thespians recently established in January 2008. The organization was created to provide an artistically adventurous environment that attracts and excites diverse members of the Pattaya community by providing theatrical productions that entertain, inspire and inform. You can visit their website and find out more information at: www.pattayaplayers.org [1].

[edit] Learn

Pattaya affords the opportunity to learn of things such as:

Diving Diving centers in Pattaya arrange officially certified diving courses of all different types.

Horse Riding The Horse Sport Center 11km from the city offers people to learn the art of properly riding a horse. The Thai Polo Club offers polo lessons and matches.

Thai Language Scattered around the city are numerous language schools with Thai language lessons of offer from beginners to advance.

[edit] Local Food

Chonburi has a lot of fresh seafood and dried fruits. As there are a lot of people from the north-east (Isarn) living and working in Pattaya, there is an abundance of north-eastern favourites such as Spicy Papaya Salad (Somtum) and Spicy Sour Chopped Pork Salad (Larb).

[edit] Expat Community

Restaurant catering to Russians in central Pattaya.

Due to the large number of foreign residents, a large number of expat retirees, Pattaya boasts several expat clubs which have regular monthly or weekly meetings.

Pattaya has its own masonic lodge, a rotary club, an international school, an English boarding school.

[edit] Crime

Historically, Pattaya has had comparatively high levels of crime, sometimes attributed to organised crime in, and preying on, the sex industry as well as the easy availability of tourist cash in a country that had a per capita Gross National Income of US$7500 in 2005. In recent years, Pattaya has served as a hideaway for foreigners with connections to organized crime in their home countries, and dozens of Thais have been murdered in gang-related disputes.[7] The authorities also intermittently crack down on underage sex workers and their clients and a number of high profile arrests have been made in recent years.

Visitors are more likely to encounter petty crime, usually limited to pickpocketing and confidence tricks, particularly in and around major tourist areas such as Jomtien and Pattaya Beaches and on the "baht buses", than in other Thai tourist destinations. To help curb this problem, a special Tourist Police division has been established to aid foreign tourists (farang) who are victims of crime. Officially, foreigners are charged more than locals for most products.

Pattaya, along with the rest of Thailand, is also known for its abundance of pirated DVD movies, music CDs and software. Racketeering, Money laundering and also trade in bootleg tobacco & alcohol products are rife too.

[edit] Media/Contact

Pattaya has several foreign language newspapers; most come out weekly. The English newspapers include Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Today, Pattaya Times. Additionally, there are French, Norwegian, German, Russian and Japanese publications. There are several English-language cable television programs with news and video reports from Pattaya. There are also several tourist magazines and nightlife, most of them coming out monthly. The official Thailand Survival Guide Pattaya Edition offers a wealth of information and contains a useful business telephone directory of more than 16,000 businesses in Pattaya.

Landline telephones, satellite phones, all mobile phone systems, high-speed internet (ADSL), post offices and parcel services are available in province.

[edit] See also

 

  1. ^ a b "Pattaya population statistic according to residents registration 1997-2007 (Thai only)" (HTML). Pattaya City Registrar Office. Retrieved on 2007-11-29.
  2. ^ "World Weather Information Service Pattaya". Thai Meteorological Department.
  3. ^ Pattaya Today, The tallest building in Thailand coming, 1 August 2006, accessed 8 Nov 2006.
  4. ^ FAQ at www.ocean1tower.com, accessed 8 Nov 2006.
  5. ^ Zoo worker mauled to death by tigers in Thai zoo, accessed 8 Nov 2006.
  6. ^ The Nation, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo: 60 more may be culled, October 29, 2004.
  7. ^ The Nation, Costa del Crime, November 7, 2005.

 

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